The bottom-placed St Lucia Stars will host the Barbados Tridents in a must-win game if they’re any chance to make the CPL finals later in the tournament.
They were put to the sword in their tournament opener against the Knight Riders, only to go down to the same team just days later in a much more closely fought encounter that saw the Stars sink to the bottom of the table with an almighty thud. Opener Andre Fletcher has been the only batsman for St Lucia who has shown any consistency in the two matches for the Stars, the flamboyant right-hander scored 26 & 40 in both outings against Trinbago but even he was restricted from unleashing his big hitting. Their key players aren’t performing with the bat, it’s as simple as that. Johnson Charles, Kamran Akmal, Marlon Samuels and Jesse Ryder have all been disappointing, all four batsmen have gotten starts in one of the two matches but failed to make it count on the scoreboard. Batting below all four of those players is captain Darren Sammy who is far from a consistent runs scorer, he can bob-up every now and then but shouldn’t be relied upon to score big amounts of runs consistently, he’s more of a pinch-hitter at the back end of an innings. The Stars bowlers were absolutely slaughtered by Brendon McCullum and Colin Munro in their first match, that was tough to judge given both batsman were just punishing anything in their hitting zone which seemed to be the entire width of the crease. The inclusion of off-spinner Shane Shillingford turned out to be an influential one, proving to be the Stars best performer with the ball by a country mile finishing with match figures of 4/22 which included a maiden over. Kiwi quick Mitchell McClenaghan will be heavily relied upon to make crucial inroads in this upcoming match with the ball, St Lucia have struggled as a team in general so far, and on top of that some of their marque players are horribly out of form.
The Tridents fell 12 runs short of victory in their last match against the Tallawahs, captain Kieron Pollard was the standout performer for Barbados with a brutal 62 off just 33 deliveries including 6 sixes to go with that sensation knock. It wasn’t enough to win them the game, but Pollard will benefit from that batting performance which indicates he’s in sensational striking form with the willow. There are still some concerns though, the ever-reliable Kane Williamson has been far from his best with just 20 runs to his name in two matches as the Tridents key overseas signing. Proteas all-rounder Wayne Parnell who was also a sought-after signing has only picked up one wicket in two games, furthering the frustration of the Barbados coaching staff & team management. Pakistani duo Shoaib Malik and Wahab Riaz have both shown glimpses of dominating particular stages in each match, Wahab the most recent to show his brilliance out of the pair picking up 3/32 in the Tridents last match against the Tallawahs. Local Ravi Rampaul remains one of the most important players in the tournament for Barbados, at 32-years of age the veteran has played 143 T20 matches in total including Internationals for the West Indies with 180 wickets to his name. The dangerous-Dwayne Smith is yet to fire against the new ball as well, his next big score shouldn’t be to far away given his powerful striking ability against the opposition quicks on familiar wickets.
Top 5 fantasy picks | St Lucia Stars | 8th match | Gros Islet
- Andre Fletcher
- Mitchell McClenaghan
- Shane Shillingford
- Marlon Samuels
- Darren Sammy
Top 5 fantasy picks | Barbados Tridents | 8th match | Gros Islet
- Dwayne Smith
- Shoaib Malik
- Wahab Riaz
- Kieron Pollard
- Ravi Rampaul
St Lucia Stars (possible) – 1. Johnson Charles 2. Andre Fletcher 3. Kamran Akmal (wk) 4. Marlon Samuels/Keddy Lesporis 5. Jesse Ryder/Shane Watson 6. Darren Sammy (c) 7. Kyle Mayers 8. Mitchell McClenaghan 9. Jerome Taylor 10. Shane Shillingford 11. Eddie Leie.
Barbados Tridents (possible) – 1. Dwayne Smith 2. Kane Williamson 3. Shoaib Malik 4. Nicholas Pooran (wk) 5. Kieron Pollard (c) 6. Chris Barnwell 7. Akeal Hosein 8. Wayne Parnell 9. Wahab Riaz 10. Imran Khan/Damion Jacobs 11. Ravi Rampaul.